Predictive analytics for scheduling: Opargo targets $2.5M to help specialists prioritize patients

Practice management tools for physicians are getting increasingly sophisticated. One particular area of interest is smarter scheduling tools designed to reduce no-shows, to make the most use of physicians’ time and to ensure physicians meet patients’ priorities. One Dallas-based health IT startup called Opargo has developed a smart scheduling tool for specialist practices. It uses […]

Practice management tools for physicians are getting increasingly sophisticated. One particular area of interest is smarter scheduling tools designed to reduce no-shows, to make the most use of physicians’ time and to ensure physicians meet patients’ priorities.

One Dallas-based health IT startup called Opargo has developed a smart scheduling tool for specialist practices. It uses an algorithm that factors in 10-12 variables, that can be customized to each practice. In a phone interview with MedCity News, CEO and co-founder Paul Wiley talked about the business.

The company has raised nearly half of a $2.5 million fundraising goal to help it scale the business. Wiley said it plans to increase staff numbers from its current level of 12 to 20 by the end of the year, mostly through sales account management and customer service support hires. Although its funding to date has come from 10-12 angel investors, Wiley said it has also had conversations with institutional investors and strategic partners.

The algorithm behind the scheduling tool is weighted and adjusted for each provider. Opargo’s customers are typically larger practices and groups. He said it goes beyond assessing which patients are low value and high value based on their insurance. It also factors in historical data and procedure preferences for each physician in a practice, among other criteria.

He started the business in 2013 with pain management physician Dr Aaron Lloyd. With a background steeped in the travel industry most recently as a chief product and strategy officer at GetThere, he met Lloyd in class at the business school at Southern Methodist University.

The majority of their customers are pain management and orthopedic physician practices since they have grown the business using their contacts. But Wiley added that in the past few months it’s seen a response across a broader range of specialties and geographic locations.

The pressure to make their practices more efficient and to reduce the chances of patients not showing up for appointments has driven several companies to develop smarter scheduling tools. Some of these businesses include Smart Scheduling, Avantas, rockhopperZSG and QGenda.